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Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under

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Senior Manager
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Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2009, 18:45
Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, has declined in numbers by ninety percent since the 1980s. Although federal protection made it illegal to harm desert tortoises or remove them from the wild of the southwestern North American deserts, this measure has been insufficient to reverse the species’ decline, and further intervention is required.
Recovery has been slow, partly due to the desert tortoise’s low reproductive potential. Females breed only after reaching full size at fifteen to twenty years of age, and even then may only lay eggs when adequate forage is available. Although the number of eggs in each clutch varies, and each female might lay a few clutches in one season, the average mature female produces only a few eggs annually. From these precious eggs, hatchlings emerge wearing soft shells that will harden slowly into protective armor over the next five years. The vulnerable young are entirely neglected by adult tortoises, and only five percent ultimately reach adulthood.
Predators are blamed for most tortoise deaths; ravens, specifically, are estimated to cause more than half of the juvenile tortoise deaths in the Mojave Desert. Tortoise eggs and juveniles, with their delicate shells, can fall prey to many birds, mammals, and other reptiles. For protection from predators, as well as from desert temperature extremes, tortoises of all ages burrow into the earth. However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
Even with current protections from human interference, the desert tortoise faces a tough recovery, so additional measures must be taken. First, the limited habitat of desert tortoises, with soil suitable for their burrows, must be protected from development. Next, urban expansion often has the unintended effect of increasing raven populations, so aggressive measures to control the birds are necessary to increase desert tortoise hatchling survival rates. Finally, released captive tortoises typically perish, and can pass upper respiratory tract disease into the wild population with devastating consequences, so continuing education of pet tortoise owners is essential.

1. It can be inferred from the passage that the desert tortoise mortality rate would be most likely to decrease if which of the following were true?
1. Desert tortoise burrows were cooler.
2. Male and female tortoises mated more frequently.
3. Adult tortoises provided better care for their young.
4. Forage plants were abundant in the habitat of the desert tortoise.
5. Rabbits were abundant in the habitat of the desert tortoise.

2. Previous efforts to protect the desert tortoise are regarded by the author with
weary skepticism
complete satisfaction
implied opposition
qualified approval
overt disdain
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2009, 08:01
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2009, 23:48
Yes C and A(E)

In the last Option--E is bit extreme
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 00:27
IMO 1. E coz i think that question asks about tortoise mortality rate.. but not about the cause of young tortoise deaths..
So, i think that C is too specific and can prevent young ones but what about the older or adult tortoise? they all (including young ones) can be saved if number of rabbits is more..
2. E
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 00:48
pls post the OAs in spoiler

I googled and got E for the first Q

acer2knight wrote:
....

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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 01:05
you means this

"However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
"

atomy wrote:
IMO 1. E coz i think that question asks about tortoise mortality rate.. but not about the cause of young tortoise deaths..
So, i think that C is too specific and can prevent young ones but what about the older or adult tortoise? they all (including young ones) can be saved if number of rabbits is more..

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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 02:16
1) E
" For protection from predators,..., if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells."
2) E
I am not satisfied with this option because nowhere in the passage is the author expressing disdain, but none of the others choices satisfy.
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 19:12
Hello
As per the OAs it is E and D. I dont have the explanations with me.

But can some please elaborate on why do you think E is the right answer?
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2009, 10:00
nitya34 wrote:
you means this

"However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
"

atomy wrote:
IMO 1. E coz i think that question asks about tortoise mortality rate.. but not about the cause of young tortoise deaths..
So, i think that C is too specific and can prevent young ones but what about the older or adult tortoise? they all (including young ones) can be saved if number of rabbits is more..

yes
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Re: Tortoise [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 01:47
Agree with E and D

I got both wrong
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Re: Tortoise   [#permalink] 19 Jul 2009, 01:47
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